Sunday, April 15, 2007

Adventures in Madaba and Wadi Mujib

Yesterday we (Yo, Mo, Miss A, J and B) ventured to Madaba and its environs in our rented car. It was a great day and we saw some very interesting sites. The Wadi Mujib is a gorge in Jordan which enters the Dead Sea at 410 meters below sea level. The Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world, located in the mountainous landscape to the east of the Dead Sea, approximately 90km south of Amman.

We did not go all the way to the nature reserve, but we did see the very impressive Mujib Dam. The Wadi Mujib is the biblical Arnon River, which acted as the dividing line between the Moabites and the Amorites.

We also spent some time in Madaba, which is famous for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics.

The most famous of the Mosaics is the Madaba Mosaic Map, which is an index map of the region, dating from the sixth century CE. The Madaba Map is preserved in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of George. The over two million pieces of colored stone depict hills and valleys, villages and towns in Palestine and the Nile Delta. The mosaic contains the earliest representation of Byzantine Jerusalem

The map provides important details as to its 6th century landmarks, with the cardo (the central street colonnaded street and the church of the Holy Sepulchre. This map is one key in developing scholarly knowledge about the physical layout of Jerusalem after its destruction and rebuilding in 70CE.

After a great late lunch/early dinner at Haret Jdoudna, we travelled back to Amman and all decided that because we had a car we should go through the Starbucks drive through in Abdoun.

Our travelling companion J, a Starbucks barrista in another life, explained away the variability in coffee drinks as the difference between the preparer loving coffee and someone just doing their job. "Good coffee comes from the heart".

We had great coffee from our Jordanian barristas, who clearly made the coffee with love (and willingly put up with our photo taking). A fun day and hopefully a good birthday for Miss A.


AmpiezzaDiVedute said...

It was a fabulous birthday! Thanks!

Mrs. Goodwrench said...

What a great map! I am surprised to see what I will call both Greek and Roman characters.

Is this something many people/tourists go to see?

MMK and YMR said...

The Madaba Map is definitely on the "to do" list when you visit Jordan. In the half hour we were at the Map on Saturday we saw at least 3 tour groups of 15-20 people. Busy place.

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